This post contains spoilers for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania and potential spoilers for Loki season 2.
Loki’s coming back for a second season this October, and he’s bringing one of the weirdest Marvel characters with him. No, I’m not talking about sub-Z-list Thor villain Zaniac, whose name appears on a marquee in the trailer. I’m talking about Victor Timely, the variant of Kang the Conquerer revealed in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania and featured in the trailer for Loki season two.
We knew that Kang would be a concern for Loki‘s second season after Loki and his variant Sylvie confronted He Who Remains in the season 1 finale. By killing He Who Remains, Sylvie not only allowed the Multiverse to grow unchecked — leading to this next set of MCU movies being dubbed “The Multiverse Saga” — but she also opened the way for more dangerous Variants of He Who Remains.
With the powerful variant Kang apparently dispatched by ants at the end of Quantumania, Loki will be turning his attention to a more odd-ball variant, Victor Timely. Played once again by Jonathan Majors, who has not been recast despite his impeding domestic violence case, Timely calls back to one of Marvel’s most ambitious comic book stories, one that goes back to the roots of Marvel Comics.
Although Kang and his variants, such as Immortus and Rama-Tut, have been around since the early ’60s, Victor Timely didn’t debut until 1991’s Avengers Annual #21, written by Peter Sanderson and penciled by Rich Yanizeski. Victor came about when Kang (born Nathanial Richards of the 21st Century) hatched a new plan to destroy the Avengers by traveling to Wisconsin in 1901. Using the name Victor Timely (a reference to Timely Comics, which would eventually become Marvel Comics), he presented himself as an eccentric inventor and founded a town called Timely. His amazing contraptions improved the lives of Wisconsinites, giving them luxuries that the rest of the world wouldn’t get for decades and also probably the first Culver’s.
Of course, Victor’s goals weren’t selfless. Instead, his position among great inventors of the 20th-century inventors gave him access to other geniuses of the time, including Dr. Phineas Horton. Victor consulted Horton as the latter built an android whose skin caught on fire when it was exposed to oxygen. That android took the name the Human Torch, becoming one of the first superheroes in the Marvel Universe and fighting alongside Captain America and Namor in World War II.
Eventually, the Human Torch was deactivated and the moniker went to Johnny Storm of the Fantastic Four. But the deactivated body wasn’t disposed of. Instead, it was implanted with the brain patterns of Wonder Man to become the synthezoid Vision. And so, through Victor Timely in 1901, Kang built a weakness in one of his most powerful enemies in 1991. That, my friends, is why you never fight a time traveler.
As MCU fans know, Vision has a very different history than his comic book counterpart and is currently out of commission anyway. However, all of the Variants of He Who Remains have reason to fear Loki and Sylvie, who may be Victor Timely’s target.
Whatever his plan might be, the mere existence of Victor Timely and Zaniac in the MCU demonstrates that Loki is going to be even more weird in its second season, indulging in the wonderful oddities of the Marvel Universe.
Loki season 2 premieres Friday, Oct. 6, 2023 on Disney+.